Characteristics and rates of mental health problems among Indian and White adolescents in two English cities

Nisha Dogra, Nadzeya Svirydzenka, Pat Dugard, Swaran P. Singh, Panos Vostanis

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    Abstract

    Background

    Sampling techniques for national surveys have constrained the statistical power in estimating prevalence rates of child mental health problems in minority ethnic groups.

    Aims

    To establish the prevalence rates of mental health problems in ethnic Indian adolescents in England and compare these with matched White adolescents living in the same areas.

    Method

    A cross-sectional survey with oversampling of Indian adolescents aged 13-15 years of age.

    Results

    The sample size was 2900 (71% response rate) with 1087 (37%) Indian and 414 (14%) White adolescents. Ethnically Indian adolescents had lower rates of all types of mental health problems (5% v. 13% and 21% v. 30% for abnormal Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire scores, respectively) and substance misuse (18% v. 57%, 5% v.15% and 6% v. 9% for regular alcohol, smoking and drug use, respectively), with the exception of eating disorders, compared with their White counterparts. The odds of an abnormal score on the mental health questionnaires were worse for White compared with Indian children irrespective of sociodemographic variables.

    Conclusions

    Factors relating to how Indian adolescents are parented or their social support networks may be influencing their mental health and may warrant further investigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-50
    Number of pages7
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
    Volume203
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

    • STRENGTHS
    • CHILDREN
    • DIFFICULTIES QUESTIONNAIRE SDQ
    • PREVALENCE
    • BELLA
    • DISORDERS

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